Magens Bay --San Thomas

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Journey into the Abu Simbel Temples ...

Located near the border between Egypt and Sudan, an approximately 167 miles form Aswan, you would find the Abu Simbel Temples. Abu Simbel temples comprise of two temples that were built by Ramesses II for himself and for his wife, Nefertari. In fact, he was the only pharaoh that had built a temple dedicated for his queen.

What so special about these temples you ask ... Well..they were carved out from two big solid rocks. Check them out!

Temple built for Ramses II

Temple built for Nefertari, Ramses II's queen

During the year when the Egyptian built the high dam, the Abu Simbel temples were at the risk of being submerged in the water, so the UNESCO and Egyptian government have joined effort in relocating the temples to their current location, Philae island --piece by piece. Um ... who says that you can't move a mountain? --Well almost, two huge rocks were disassembled, moved then reassembled back like their original, almost!

Abu Simbel temples after the move

Philae island
The front of the temple

Hope you enjoy this journey visiting the Abu Simbel Temples and wish you a nice weekend!

Until next stop,
Journey of Life

Are you selfish?

What a fun nite at our toastmaster meeting last night! We had a contest going on at our clubs to pick the best speakers and the best evaluators to represent our club to compete in larger audiences. I opted to be the Chief of Judge --just because. It was an interesting experience to be one, though it was not what I had in mind :-)

But, what I like to zeroing today is how the last speaker has captured my attention. Yes. He was funny but the topic that he has chosen --Selfishness, is quite an interesting one, I said to myself. He won the 2nd best speakers due to the nature of the contest --humorous speech. He was quite entertaining but the winner was definitely well deserved one, leaving us teary --from laughing so hard. .But the topic of 'selfishness' --has definitely lasted longer in my mind.

During his speech, the speaker made an argument, in fact a very convincing one, stating that we are one way or another --selfish.. Either we are more selfish or just about right. He argued that whatever gestures that we had made whether gift giving, donating to charity, tending our family, giving our best to our loved ones might be, we would always receive something in return --mentally or physically. Be a satisfactory feeling, being proud or having something to brag about --having our children go to the Ivy League school perhaps :-)

I remember having so many thoughts flashing thru my mind thinking that 'No, I am not selfish,' not until he mentioned that there are some emotionally rewards --satisfaction, happiness, being respective, being loved .... you got my point. Really! I guess I am a bit selfish and  here is what the Dalai Lama has to say about human beings and selfishness.

"Human beings are not intrinsically selfish, which isolates us from others. We are essentially social animals who depend on others to meet our needs. We achieve happiness, prosperity and progress through social interaction. Therefore, having a kind and helpful attitude contributes to our own and others' happiness."

Hope you enjoy our stop today visiting the subject of 'selfishness'.'

Until next stop,
Journey of Life

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Self-Help for Skeptics

Just when you thought that you are hopeless ... half empty is your life philosophy. Think again!
Recent article on the Wall Street Journal revealed that there is a hope to the pessimists. We are more than capable of training our brain to think positive even though we were wired otherwise.

Each time when you are about to think how dreadful your life is ... think about something that you are thankful for --for every one negative thought you have about yourself, think about five positive things that you are proud of.

In the articles, the author, Elizabeth Bernstein, mentions another method that helps is spending some of your time when you are down by helping others. The result is quite impressive, in fact, it is a method that is used by psychologist or psychotherapist to help depression patients to  regain their happiness. The author also mentioned that as part of the way to help lessen the negativity is to vent outs as well.

Property of the Wall Street Journal, illustrated by Jim Haynes

Another way is to keep track of your accomplishments and happy moments, when time needed, flip through those moments and in no time, you will find yourself back --the positive ones. She listed more examples, such as, a lady who celebrated her recovery from long depression by making herself valentine card. Each time when she looks at the card, it reminds her that she has pulled through a difficult moment in her life.

Some people even talk to themselves briefly --using the voice that was used to scold themselves when they were not doing their best, the very same voice would comfort them, just like a friend would do, giving support to friends in need..

Some people are collecting fan cards, letters and emails that were sent by clients or friends, and when difficult times hit, reading them would boost up their confidence and happiness.

Need more reasons? If we don't love ourselves, who else would! With that in mind, make sure to train our brains to think positive and when need be instead of being harsh on ourselves --self compassion is the way to go!

Until next stop,
Journey of Life

Monday, August 27, 2012

Ladies First ...

As I was driving into work this morning, I tuned in to my favorite radio station. Why you ask –favorite that is! Well … if I ever running out of idea on what to blog, I tell ya … I can always find some interesting topics from that radio station. And today is the day (not that I have nothing to write about but I found this topic very amusing :-))

The male host was asking this question to the female host this morning, he went like, “How do you feel being treated like a lady?”  Before the female host answered, he further explained the reason behind his question was. He was in an elevator with a lady and he was standing closer to the door. As the elevator stopped. this male host stepped back and letting the lady to step out first. "The lady looked at me in this weird look," he said. He then gestured the lady by saying “Lady first.” And guess what the lady did and said? –Hold on to that thought.

He was saying that he is one of those that still does the following –opening door, pulling out chair for ladies. Coincidentally, this morning as I walked into the double door of our office building. I saw one man went in and he was about 50 feet from me or so. As he walked in, he kept the door open waiting for me. I was impressed (as I didn’t expect that since I was still quite a distance away,) and quickened my steps and thanked him for his kind gesture.

I am not sure how others feel, I felt like this gentlemen who has opened the door for me was polite and I really appreciate it. Did he need to do it? Of course not but the fact that he did it, I truly appreciated it.
Now you must be wondering what did the lady did and said. Ready?

She stomped out (angrily) and said, “pleassssseee … what year is this?!”  I thought to myself, “Wow! What an interesting reaction.” I am not sure why she reacted that way and I probably will not ever understand. So, I thought I share this with you and perhaps someone would light up my ‘light bulb’ :-)

Property of

I hope you enjoy this little true tale …

Until next stop,
Journey of Life

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Riding Camels in Sahara Desert ....

“What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupery quotes (French Pilot, Writer and Author of 'The Little Prince', 1900-1944)

But to me what makes the desert beautiful is the camel ...

And to get there we need a sail boat ...

After struggling to get on ... finally!

Camels and humans ...

Say cheese!

OMG ... I am actually riding the camel on my own...-without someone holding it

Time to get down - Ugh easy ..easy ...

Finally ... down. Good camel!

Camels in Egypt originated from Sudan and they have one hump --a bit smaller compared to the ones from Gobi desert, China. (One of these days, I will take you all to ride camels in the Gobi desert but for now, let's focus on Sahara desert.)

Sahara desert is considered the world hottest desert and second largest desert next to the icy desert in Antarctica.

Property of
Hope you enjoy our journeys to the Egypt ...
the fun doesn't end here but I would try to insert other topics here and there and back to Egypt next Friday --too many places there to show you ...

Until next stop,
Journey of Life

Tidbits about Egypt ...

Sunset at the Cairo Airport

 We had so much fun so far traveling to Egypt on the following journeys ...
But, before we go to another site, let's look at its weather. I have found the following data from the net for your guideline.

property of
Some data suggested that majority of the today Egyptians are Muslims and there are some Christians. Ever since the fall of its kingdom due to so many invasions, some suggested that today Egyptians have a mixed of some foreigners', ancient Egyptians' and Arabians' blood. In another words, ancient Egyptians have vanished through this world.

Along with the Egyptians are the Nubians, they are the descendant from the ancient Nubians who have inhibited in the Aswan (Egypt.) According to our tour guide, unlike Egyptians, Nubians are keeping their houses and environment clean from garbage. They use Camels and donkeys as their main transportation.

Donkey and I :-)
And here are some photos taken at the Nubian Village ...


Their kitchen ...

Notice the rounded thingy stacked on top of the clay oven? --those are breads ...
Nubian kids ...

And I have the privilege of tasting their food ...

Beef stew and some side dishes ...

The tastiest bread --the ancient Egyptian sand bread ...

Now ... It was said that in order to quicken the process of grinding, the ancient Egyptian bakers (mostly women) would add sand or ground stone to the grain so they would grind much faster. That was the main reason why the ancient Egyptians possessed poor teeth. And today --let's hope the sand bread that I ate didn't contain any sand ...

Of course, this visit will not be completed without a visit to the bazaar ....

Meet the sand glass artist ...

Ah ...sipping a cup of Turkish coffee at the local cafe ....

Awake? . Time to go about your routines and I will see you tomorrow at the Sahara desert for our camels riding ...

Until next stop,
Journey of Life

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Valley of Kings and The Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut

Valley of Kings was supposed to be a hush-hush burial place for the pharaoh until myriad of robbers, treasures hunters, archaeologists combing thru the place and now us ...

The Valley of Kings --property of

I hope you had fun visiting the Pyramid Giza and stepping foot inside the Red Pyramid and the fun is not over yet!

So far only 63 tombs (and counting) were discovered in the Valley of Kings and the 63th one is the well known Pharaoh Tutankhamun's, which was laid undisturbed until Howard Carter discovered it. It was said that only 24 of those are royal tombs and the rest are nobles and animals'.

Today, we would personally visit the following tombs:

  •  Site KV2: tomb of Ramses IV

Outside the tomb of Ramses IV, property of

  • Site KV6: tomb of Ramses IX

    I found this link so you could view it with your eyes as it was prohibited to take any photo nor video during my personal visit. Enjoy!
  • Site KV6: tomb of Ramses II

    This is in fact is one of the largest tomb in the Valley of Kings. It covers more than .2 acre.
Inside the tomb of Ramses II, property of

Walking inside the tomb, property of National Geographic

No, we are not visiting the tomb of the King Tutankhamun, as you know that all of these tombs are pretty much empty and the treasures have been brought to the Egyptian Museum. So, after looking inside three tombs in the heat of 110 degree Fahrenheit, we called it enough :-)

And now let's move to the Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut. She is the first known female monarch that ruled for more than two decade. Some of the inscription even described her as a male.

The queen and I 

 And that conclude our visit to the Valley of Kings and the Mortuary temple of Queen Hatshepsut but the mystery remains ... as the tomb of Ramses VIII is yet to be found.

And where are we going tomorrow, you ask. Let's see, how about visiting the lifestyle of the Egyptians.. It only be exciting if we know how they are doing these days and what are the typical food they are consuming. And on Friday, we would be riding camels in the Sahara desert. Sounds good?

OK. Until next stop,
Journey of Life

Monday, August 20, 2012

Journey deep into the Red Pyramid

Never thought I would step foot on the land of the pharaohs ..and only then have I realized how impressive the pyramids are! Yesterday, we visited the Pyramid Giza ( and today, we are venturing deep into the Red Pyramid.

First off, the Red Pyramid was built by the Pharaoh Sneferu, father of Khufu. It was said that according to the ancient depictions, the pyramid took 10 years and seven months to build. --source:

This pyramid holds a special place in my memory, and I bet it would be the same for you, since I am taking you with me to explore the inside of the pyramid --right into its chambers.

Can you see the way in? Now ...what are you waiting for? C'mon in ..
Lemme lead the way ...
View from the bottom of the pyramid
Yes... Are you still there?
Or are you still down there? Hurry up, we ain't got whole day :-)
View from down there ...
Where are you?
The Second Chamber
There are three chambers inside the Red Pyramid, the third one was believed to be the burial chamber.

Burial Chamber ...

I hope you had fun stepping into the Red Pyramid with me and now time to climb back out ...-ugh, why there are so many steps?


Finally, we are out now and let's plan on going to the Valley of Kings tomorrow --what do ya say? 

Until next stop,
Journey of Life